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Quantum Archeology - (Quantum Archaeology) also known as quantum resurrection and quantum information retrieval, is is a controversial and emerging idea in modern science about bringing the dead back to life like ancestor simulation and using emerging statistical probability and number crunching techniques to achieve massively accurate retrodiction. Then resurrect them.

It began in transhumanist and futurist philosophy, was coined and written about on Ray Kurzweil's MINDX.

It ruthlessly asserts that there is no qualitative difference between information expressed as a living human being or as a set of data; that as any long dead person is describable & therefore resurrectable, by reconfiguring historical spacetime coordinates using coming science and technolgy they are likely to be reassembled.

One of it's most acute theories describes a possible method for raising the ancient dead using advancing statistical probabilistic sampling quantum calculations like those pioneered by Professor Ray Solomonov, by treating a person as a data set at a defined point of spacetime and seeking to accurately describe that point - then reconstructing them robotically.

It anticipates coming process technologies usually called hypercomputing that include, but are not limited to quantum computing, nanocomputing, and light speed computing and it attempts to look at resurrection issues in terms of information manipulation, in a world that has post-human level intelligence (assumed to occur at more than 10^17 flops (Hans Moravec).

It first surfaced in 2002 in discussions about Tipler's The Physics of Immortality and Steven Wolfram's A New Kind of Science, using the forecasting ideas of new statistics, ideas from fiction and with a focal point called the Omega Point by Pierre Teilihard De Chardin, a Jesuit priest, and Tipler, a professor of mathematics.Supporters include Frank Tipler and opponents Robert Ettinger, and it was discussed at the Pentagon sponsored AI@50 in the USA in 2006.

The idea was inspired by Asimov's Foundation trilogy where Hari Seldon makes aggregate probabilistic predictions using psychohistory across thousands of years.


The basis of psychohistory is the idea that, while the actions of a particular individual could not be foreseen, the laws of statistics could be applied to large groups of people and used to predict the general flow of future events.

Quantum Archeology does it backwards, ie uses statistical methods to determine the past at quantum level detail, instead of the future.

It is well written about under specialist headings as information theory, and the resurrections of the dead is one of the most bizarre applications of quantum forecasting and information retrieval using quantum mechanics. Ancestor states are the same for ancestors of groups of sub-atomic particles or for the memories body of a long deceased person, the parameters of the tank dependent only upon what variables or fixed points you can measure from the present, deducing backwards to what must have been, like someone joining up the dots in a child's puzzle.

Quantum Archeology advances that it is possible to reconstruct the exact states of any event (philosophy) of spacetime, enabling the resurrection of any person, when no physical part of them is remains extant. Is is based on the view that whole the cosmos is entirely subject to law and any past points in spacetime are therefore discoverable by enough calculation.

Asimov used the analogy of a gas: in a gas, the motion of a single molecule is very difficult to predict, but the mass action of the gas can be predicted to a high level of accuracy -known in physics as the Kinetic Theory.

Quantum archeology is the opposite of psychohistory and is an attempt at ideating method to prepare for the science of how those predictions are made, including methods like sampling(probability) and is in its infancy.

It assumes the cosmos is a determinist system and it further assumes since human complexity of the cosmos is increasing there will be vastly more useful data available in the present than the past, from which to construct adequate coordinates.

Although the application of quantum archaeological techniques to resurrection was novel, techniques had been researched since the quantum theory exploded onto the world stage from Einstein's monumental work in Relativity.

For a long time it seemed that the cosmos was lawless, but the Many Worlds Interpretation returned physics to determinism, supporting the pathos-filled paragraph by Einstien in a letter to Max Born in September 1944;

“You believe in the God who plays dice, and I in complete law and order in a world which objectively exists, and which I, in a wildly speculative way, am trying to capture. I hope that someone will discover a more realistic way, or rather a more tangible basis than it has been my lot to find. Even the great initial success of the Quantum Theory does not make me believe in the fundamental dice-game, although I am well aware that our younger colleagues interpret this as a consequence of senility. No doubt the day will come when we will see whose instinctive attitude was the correct one.”

We know from Everett's theory that the universe is entirely governed by law, and once the basics of it have been grasped, it is immediately obvious that that must permeate to the smallest thermodynamic levels as well, leaving traceable foootsteps to any point in the past. But Everett's meeting with Neils Bohr in Copenhagen in Spring 1959 had not gone well: it is said Bohr wouldn't allow him to discuss his Many Worlds Theory. One cant know Bohr's objections, and it probably doesn't matter. The theory is an assault on the uniqueness of a man, and that it is probably true makes it less forgivable.

It seems incredible to the layman that a science could advance or retreat acording to politics, but the professional scientist knows only too well one has to fight for a new theory, and that it wont be ignored once exposed. Darwin and Newton had refused to discuss their new science, and what is being called the nmst important theory of the 20th century (BBC 'Parellel Lives') is giving circulation to Everett's work which has led to the advent of quantum computers.

When quantum archeology began to be discussed there was a refusal to take it seriously, partly because it overturned the long-held paradigm that death was irreversible when nothing of the pshyical body was left. When scientists examined it there surprisingly little hostility as it became clear it was correct quite quickly, and also that human death could not be a permanent state in terms of the scientific identity of any possible past human, which had to be describable in terms of data or outside science.

The only issue was then could a point of space time be plotted that gave enough historical coordinates to resurrect when nothing of the person remained to work with?

That issue in turn reduced to could one assemble enough computing power.

It is unlikely that no trace of anyone who has lived could be deduced by powerful computers likely to be available around 2045 (calculated by trends like Moore's Law). People long dead will be brought to life, and this can be done by degrees. At first the resurrectees may not be faithful representations of the deceased, but before long they will be ready to be brought back to life with all their memories in tact and computers used to rehabilitate them. Here is an example done now from a single image (one variable) - quantum archeology will use statistical techniques to configure near infinite points of reference for any dead person from variables gatherable in the world of the present:

Robert Ettinger had wrestled alone with such ideas and continues to break new ground

( Feb 2008 "I suspect--although I don't know--that there is a law of conservation of information, so that in principle no information is ever lost and is in principle capable of recovery").

and found one probable solution by capturing as much of a clinically dead person as possible in a cryonic suspension. He anticipated that future techniques would allow a revival and rejuvenation and that as much information as possible should be stored, beginning with the brain.

Quantum archeology is the natural continuation of that idea, though cryonic suspension is successfully argued to be important for reconstruction.

Frank J. Tipler immediately supported the idea and his letter was published on Ray Kurzweil MINDX, although he saw raising the dead as three dimensional resurrectees as unnecessary because computer simulation will be the same thing.

“You are indeed correct that this is possible because the current universe has limited complexity....the complexity of the visible universe today is bounded above by 10^{123} bits of information. It is indeed correct that the 2nd law of thermodynamics applies to the universe as a whole. In fact, the Second Law is essential in the proof that the laws of physics REQUIRE the computer capacity of the universe to increase without limit.”

Like archeology which is able to reconstruct objects from ancient times using surviving fragments, knowledge about similar objects, and probabilities, quantum archeology assumes future computing power like quantum computers will enable this by back tracing, using laws of cause and effect with emerging mathematical and statistical methods.

There are always more variables in the cosmos than there were is history allowing enough information to be gathered to reconstruct any historical event down to the quantum particle. The universe is becoming increasing complex and any group of variables should plot backwards to a time when there are fewer events.

Everett's Many World's Theory implies that many future worlds will have only a few common ancestors. Moreover, a s time advances, the number of events in the cosmos multiplies allowing checking of back tracing from different variables to common roots. Therefore enough variables will exist at any future time to resurrect any past event in infinite or near infinite worlds.

Quantum Archeology further holds that no event in the cosmos can be non-determined, just complex, and makes no special conditions for human beings or any observers.

The idea was first discussed on line in the kurzweilai forums in 2002, where it was initially regarded as a pseudoscience, but began to be taken seriously and received endorsement from eminent scientists like Frank J. Tipler and written about (see Notes below) as quantum resurrection.


"Any illusion indistinguishable from reality IS reality" Maxim of Witchraft

A debate surfaces about the validity of a simulation in a machine, thoughfew in science doubt such simulations will eventually be possible:

"Humans are interested in the past. Archeologists scrutinize fragments of pottery and other broken artefacts, painstakingly piecing them together and attempting to reconstruct the cultures to which such objects belonged. Evolutionary biologists rely on fossil records and gene sequencing technologies to try and retrace the complex paths of natural selection. If the freely-compounding robot intelligences ultimately restructure space into an expanding bubble of cyberspace consuming all in its path, and if the post-biological entities inherit a curiosity for their past from the animals that helped create them, the 10^86 bits available would provide a powerful tool for post-human historians. They would have the computational power to run highly-detailed simulations of past histories- so detailed that the simulated people in those simulated histories think their reality is (real)." Extropia. MINDX

If you produce a recipie or a map of a complete event, like a human being and all their memories at the instant of their (first) death (this paper argues that death is reversible therefore 1st death is what deceased persons have gone through at present), it should be possible with technologies of the future to resurrect them young and fresh in the real world - one we inhabit!


Another criticism of the theory is that entropy causes irretrievable information loss at death and therefore resurrection would breech the second law of thermodynamics.

Quantum archaeologists retort that entropy does not imply abstract chaos but presently unmeasurable complexity.

Religious objections include the belief human beings operate by different laws to the rest of the universe which was a challenge made to Everett's Many Worlds Theory.

Objections from cyonics founder Professor Robert Ettinger that an objective perspective is not a subjective one - which should also be assigned validity, and may be much more important for survival in human terms - is hard to dispel. He has urged caution in quantum archeology and gives the example of the human mind uploaded into a robot to demonstrate:

in 2007

“ may eventually be possible to simulate as large a portion of spacetime as desired, to any desired degree of accuracy. But that does not necessarily mean that a simulated person would be alive in our sense, i.e. capable of having subjective experiences.... A simulation is a description of a thing and not the thing itself.”

and in 2008

“In general, the map is not the territory. A description of a thing is not the thing, except in the case that the "thing" is itself an abstraction or description. In particular, a description of a physical object is not that object and lacks some of the properties of the object, as well as including some properties that the object does not have. Further, an automaton that behaves like a person is not necessarily a person, i.e. alive in our sense, capable of subjective experience or feeling. In other words, a person has qualia. A quale is a physical state or phenomenon, not yet understood, but not necessarily duplicable in inorganic matter.


The objection from qualia is a nightmare for many physicists for there is no way to disprove it and history has been a progression of more complex denouements about the structure of humaness. The Egyptians famously threw away the brain which we find laughable today.

General Relativity Professor Roger Penrose has stated that we may not know everything necessary about the brain and has advanced an idea about atomic gravity acting at the synapes to explain the deeper manifestations of human consciousness.

Some philosophers have criticized transhumanism on the grounds that it is an attempt at a religion since both posit immortality, resurrection, description of the universe, and through the Simulation Argument, a designer, but transhumanist's absence of of a subjective valuation system for Man except as an object, is dangerous.

Extropians rebuff this by asserting the theory is intensely humanist and values Man so much it attempts a survival strategy for the assumed irrecoverably dead as well as the living.

Debates occur about the nature of identity such as those discussed in The Prospect of Immortality, and by the philosopher Professor Derek Parfit; the computing capacity needed, and the social and legal difficulties of raising the dead.

Moore's Law and other trends published by Kurzweil indicate when there will be enough processing power to achieve simulations complex enough to map out a world, and it is expected that a 200 Qubit quantum computer may be able to do this (30 Qubits would match todays supercomputer, and D-Wave Systems claims to have built a 16 Qubit system).

It is assumed that singularity technology and Artificial General Intelligence will be required to model enough of the local universe to simulate any human being and many futurists including Vernor Vinge and Ray Kuzweil expect that by 2030 when intelligent technologies are expected on consistently performing trend graphs.

There were very few attempts to build accelerating intelligence and the first conference for Artificial General Intelligence was set up for March 2008; if any of the AGI projects succeed ahead of 2030, it will fulfill the criterea for resurrection by quantum archeology.

See Also

    * Information Theory
    * Psychohistory
    * Statistics
    * Prediction
    * Quantum Theory
    * Many Worlds Theory
    * Technological Singularity
    * Forecasting

& sources dealing with the topic by other names

1829-1903 posthumous "What Was Man Created For?: The Philosophy of the Common Task" N.F. Fedorov First mention of resurrection through science (ISBN: 0907855091)

1964 "The Future of Man" Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (Omega Point theory) ISBN 0-385-51072-1

1987 Renormalisation group theory of spin glasses V S Dotsenko 1987 see ancestor statesJ. Phys. C: Solid State Phys. 20 5473-5478 doi:10.1088/0022-3719/20/33/005

1993 "The Coming Technological Singularity", Verner Vinge. Symposium held at NASA Lewis Research Center (NASA Conference Publication CP-10129)

1995 "The Physics of Immortality" Prof Frank J Tiper. ISBN 0333618645

1998 "Time and history in quantum tunneling" in Superlattices and Microstructures, Volume 23, Number 3, March pp. 823-832(10) A.M.Steinberg

2000 Sub-Poissonian photon statistics of higher harmonics: quantum predictions via classical trajectories Jirí Bajer et al 2000 J. Opt. B: Quantum Semiclass. Opt. 2 L10-L14 doi:10.1088/1464-4266/2/3/102

2000 The Large the Small and The Human Mind Professor Roger Penrose Cambridge University Press

2002 "Psychohistory" (A tool for Historical Prediction) by Christos Z. Konstas ISBN : 960-7928-72-5.

2003 "Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?" Nick Bostrom. Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 53, No. 211, pp. 243-255.

2004 Quantum Archaeology 'What is actually Teleported?' IBM Journal of Research & Development. Vol. 48 NO. 1 January p64-end re: ancestor states.

2005 "The Singularity Is Near" Ray Kurzweil ISBN 0-670-03384-7.

2005 Quantum Archeology Wed 7 Dec Vlatko Vedral Manchester Theoretical Physics Group SCHUSTER COLLOQUIUM. (see also eg Vlatko Vedral deposited papers Los Alamos on quantum information recovery (same principle as quantum resurrection).

2006 "Information recovery from black holes" by Vijay Balasubramanian, Donald Marolf, Moshe Rozali in General Relativity and Gravitation pub by Springer Netherlands ISSN 0001-7701 (Print) 1572-9532 (On line) Issue Volume 38, Number 11 / November

2006 "Resurrection of Schrödinger's cat" Jae-Seung Lee and A K Khitrin New J. Phys. 8 144

2006 "A Beginner's Guide to Immortality:" Extraordinary People, Alien Brains, and Quantum Resurrection by Clifford A. Pickover ISBN-13: 9781560259848.

2006 Quantum tool kits could transform archaeology New Scientist July 21st issue 2561

2007 New Scientist article on C.A. Pickover's book (above) Nov 17th.

2007 Edward Anderson. Records Theory
2007 "The Never-Ending Days of Being Dead: Dispatches from the Front Line of Science" Faber and Faber by Marcus Chown ISBN: 057122055X

2008 "How much of one-way computation is just thermodynamics?" Janet Anders, Damian Markham, Vlatko Vedral, Michal Hajdušek January 21st, arXiv:quant-ph/0702020v1